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Federal Managers Association

Press Release

  • Bill equips managers and supervisors with critical workforce management tools.

    Alexandria, VA - Recognizing that providing federal workforce leaders with comprehensive managerial training must become an agency priority and not simply a luxury, Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va.) and Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Haw.) today reintroduced the Federal Supervisor Training Act. The Federal Managers Association (FMA) commends both lawmakers for working to advance this legislation which ensures managers and supervisors develop and maintain the core competencies necessary to advance the efficiency and effectiveness of an evolving civil service.

    Members of Congress have placed considerable demands on the federal workforce in the face of economic uncertainty. With a renewed focus on demonstrating fiscal restraint, lawmakers have called on our nation's civil servants to provide essential services to American taxpayers while offering fewer resources to accomplish the tasks at hand. In this environment, achieving success in meeting the public's needs hinges on equipping federal managers and supervisors with the skills necessary to elicit maximum output and productivity from their employees.

    "Managerial prowess is not inherent, and independent research has concluded that arming federal managers and supervisors with the skills needed to promote employee accountability, engagement and teamwork leads to improved agency performance," emphasized FMA National President Patricia Niehaus. "If Congress and the Administration are intent on overseeing a workforce that provides maximum return on the dollar, it is critical that supervisors develop leadership proficiencies through thorough, timely and targeted supervisory training."

    The Federal Supervisor Training Act requires agencies to provide managers and supervisors with interactive training within one year of promotion to a supervisory position and establish training updates every three years thereafter. Training would cover several core management topics including: discussing goals and objectives with employees; conducting performance appraisals; and, mentoring and motivating employees and new supervisors. Training would also cover prohibited personnel practices and collective bargaining and union participation rights. The Office of Personnel Management would monitor agency implementation of the legislation while issuing guidance to agencies on competencies supervisors are expected to meet to effectively manage the performance of their employees.

    "Recent attention has been placed on managers' inaction when it comes to dealing with problem employees," continued Niehaus. "Both the Administration and federal unions have stated that managers are to blame for poor performers continuing to serve in the federal government. The fact of the matter is that the majority of managers and supervisors are not receiving the proper training on the tools at their disposal to discipline poor performers. Time and time again we hear that managers are promoted based on their technical skills, and agencies are failing to develop their leadership and supervisory capabilities. The General Schedule provides avenues for managers to deny step increases and terminate poor performing employees, but managers must know these avenues exist to utilize them."

    Similar legislation was introduced during the 111th Congress (H.R. 5522/S. 674), advancing through the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia. FMA has long supported establishing mandatory managerial training programs as part of the Government Managers Coalition. The Association would also like to thank Congressman Gery Connolly (D-Va.) and COngressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.) for supporting the training legislation as original cosponsors.


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The Association’s considerable influence stems from a team approach to advocacy. When lawmakers or agency decision-makers consider proposals that could adversely affect the management of the federal workforce, they quickly realize that TEAM FMA stands together to protect the interests of all its members.

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